Thursday, July 26, 2012

Italian Riviera: Day 4 Cinque Terre (Manarola and Riomaggiore)

This day required more than one post. The Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful places I have been so the Nikon was working over time.

The temps were high and the sun was strong. Our poor sun burned skin was slathered in sunscreen as we toured as much of this place as the kids would allow.

Aside from all of the tourists (because it was packed), it was terribly authentic. I loved watching the local ladies sitting on a bench chatting the day away, and probably only a short walk from where they grew up.

It was said that the locals don't leave their village, even to go to the market. The markets come to them. I don't blame them for not wanting to leave, the drive down was pretty scary. We parked north of the villages, in Levanto. We were able to park right next to the train station and ride in was only about 10 minutes. It was a little piece of helpful advice we found online.
So the "5 lands" are laid out along the Italian coast on the cliffs. Starting from the north, there's Monterroso Al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. You can hike the entire thing, but not with kids. It's pretty dangerous, all except for the trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore. It's paved, and stroller friendly. We chose that one. It's called Via dell'Amore, and it was full of love.
And had padlocks to prove it. Unfortunately, we forgot our padlock at home. (sorry, holly)

It took us about 30 minutes, then we were in Riomaggiore. Lunch was on the brain.
This is what you see right after you finish the path- Riomaggiore.
We had a hard time choosing a place to eat, the options were endless and everything smelled delicious. The further you explore the cities, the more you find yourself hiking up. We stopped when we could push the kids no further, and grabbed some sandwiches. The focaccia was was to die for. I got several different kinds, some with pesto and tomato, some with pomodoro and cheese, even plain focaccia for Theo. The pesto was incredible. It was by far, the best food we had the entire trip.

The kids were dying to head down to the harbor to cool off in the ocean. I decided we needed to keep going. So we jumped on the train to Monterroso Al Mare. It's the main tourist spot, and the beaches were supposed to be better.

waiting on the train

1 comment:

Jennifer R. said...

If you choose to publish a book of your travels featuring your serious money shots... Please promise to let me know. I will happily purchase your first book!